Bad News Barrett, the WWE’s Intercontinental champion, has been competing in Abu Dhabi over the weekend during the company’s tour of the city, main eventing the last night of the visit against John Cena.
The Briton took time out to chat to The National’s Graham Caygill, about a subject very close to his heart, namely football.
Barrett, 34, who is from Lancashire in England supports League 1 side Preston North End, and they face Manchester United at home in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Monday at Deepdale.
Barrett talks about the game about his hopes for the game and the challenges of trying to follow English football while travelling the world as a WWE superstar.
Your team Preston North End face Manchester United on Monday in the FA Cup. How are you feeling about it and most importantly will you be able to watch the game?
“That is a massive game. I think it has been 43 years since we last played Manchester United and in my lifetime we have obviously never played them. It is massive for the town and I wasn’t expecting us to do as well as we have done in the cup this year. I am very excited for Monday. I will be in Orlando about to shoot Raw TV but I definitely have got 90 minutes downtime to catch the game. It is going to be televised, which is great for me, so I will be watching. If we can get a draw and get a replay back at Old Trafford I will be thrilled.”
Manchester United have been struggling on the pitch of late in terms of performances and failing to convince. What do you think are Preston’s chances of causing a shock?
“Yeah, they have been pretty awful all season to be honest with you. There has never been a better time to play Manchester United. So I am hopeful we can get something. Preston are just finding a little form at the moment and if we can just nick a goal there is always that chance we can cause an upset.”
How difficult is it being a football fan travelling around the United States a lot, as the role of a WWE superstar entails, and trying to keep track on matches and Preston’s fortunes?
“It can be difficult. It has definitely got easier with the advent of smart phones and iPads. I have these various apps so I can watch football on. But supporting a team like Preston North End though they don’t get the coverage that Premier League teams do, so it can be a little difficult with Preston. But certainly I get more than my fair share of football I have to say.”
Updated: February 15, 2015 04:00 AM